Join the Olmsted Network on February 20, 2024, as we celebrate an important milestone in the field of landscape architecture!

2024 marks the 125th anniversary of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Established in 1899, the professional association was instituted by eleven founding members: President John Charles Olmsted, Nathan Franklin Barrett, Beatrix Farrand, Daniel W. Langton, Charles N. Lowrie, Warren H. Manning, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., Samuel Parsons, George F. Pentcost Jr., Ossian Cole Simonds and Downing Vaux. Today, the organization has grown to serve more than 15,000 professionals and students in the field.

In Conversations with Olmsted: ASLA at 125—Exploring the Future of Landscape Architecture, a panel of experts will examine the organization’s impressive history and speculate on what the next 125 years might look like for the profession. Speakers will include John King (moderator), Torey Carter-Conneen, Kate Orff, and Thomas Woltz.

John King (Moderator) is the Urban Design Critic of the San Francisco Chronicle, a post that encompasses topics from the public realm, post-pandemic urbanism and architecture to such regional issues as planning for sea level rise. He also is author of the book Portal: San Francisco’s Ferry Building and the Reinvention of American Cities, published in November of 2024 by W.W. Norton; an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects; and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism.   

Torey Carter-Conneen is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the 15,000-member professional association that represents landscape architects in the U.S. His primary objective and vision since joining is to elevate the profession of landscape architecture in all communities. Committed to advancing the organization to reach its full potential, he led the development of ASLA’s “2030 Vision,” which affirms the association’s focus on raising awareness of the interaction of people and the environment, thereby better positioning ASLA to take on such challenges as climate change and social equity. Prior to joining ASLA, Torey served as Chief Operating Officer of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). He also previously served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Center for American Progress (CAP) and as COO and later Acting President and CEO at the LGBTQ Victory Fund and Institute.  

Kate Orff, FASLA, is the founder of the urban design and landscape architecture practice SCAPE. She is also a Professor at Columbia University with a joint appointment at the Graduate School of Architecture and the Climate School. She was named a 2017 MacArthur Fellow.  

Thomas Woltz is the Principal and Owner of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects (NBW). He received his Masters of Architecture and Landscape Architecture from UVA and holds an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York college of Environmental Science and Forestry. He was recognized with the Land for People Award by the Trust for Public Land in 2019 and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Cultural Landscape Foundation. Over the past two decades of practice, Thomas Woltz and his team at Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects (NBW) have developed a unique approach to the design and preservation of landscapes using ecological and cultural research as the foundation for creating meaningful landscapes that inspire deep connections between people, our shared history, and the natural world. Woltz has had the honor of working with numerous Olmsted landscapes, including Bok Tower Gardens, Overlook Farm, OSU’s Mirror Lake, and the McMillan Sand Filtration Site.  

This event is the 17th webinar in the popular Conversations with Olmsted series. Hosted by the Olmsted Network (formerly the National Association for Olmsted Parks), these programs examine different aspects of Olmsted’s far-reaching influence on America’s physical landscape and social fabric.

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